- KERI HARVEY, PRESTIGE MAGAZINE
One of the highlights of a stay at Samara is the opportunity to track wild cheetah on foot. Often overshadowed by bigger predators in other reserves, at Samara the cheetah sits at the top of the food chain. Thanks to a number of habituated individuals, starting with our famous Sibella, we have been able to offer unrivalled wild cheetah viewing to many years of Samara guests. Tracking cheetah on foot is an unforgettable and humbling experience.
Several of Samara’s cheetahs have radio collars so that they can be tracked. This is essential given the type of terrain they live in – from hunting in the thicket adjoining the rivers to giving birth on steep mountain slopes. Depending on the vegetation, your guide will also point out the signs of a cheetah’s presence – from tracks to dung to scratch marks on a tree trunk.
The Tracker Academy, based at Samara, is the first of its kind in South Africa. 16 young people are hand-picked to enrol on the programme, learning the dying art of tracking as well as valuable skills to help them gain employment in the ecotourism industry. The knowledge they acquire enables them to track wildlife, including cheetahs, through incredibly difficult terrain.